Executive Director Amy McKenna Gilford (2nd from right) and her family at Andrew and Jane's recent wedding. Amy and Jim will be married 34 years this summer and have three adult children and one daughter who is in high school. 

Our Why

MREC exists to serve the community with relationship education classes, special events and resources so that marriages and families will thrive.

The Problem

In 2004 Carroll County was experiencing some of the highest divorce rates in the nation. Our founders, Bill and Anne McKenna, retired Carroll County Public School teachers, were particularly concerned about the impact of divorce and the breakdown of family on the lives of children.

With the encouragement of dozens of local and community leaders they launched the state's first nonprofit initiative dedicated to using a proactive approach to strengthening marriages and families.  

Our Goals

To reduce the number of divorces in our community and increase the number of marriages

To raise the awareness of the value of healthy marriage and family on community well-being

Our Solution

Our aim is to offer top-tier classes, events and resources that educate, equip and inspire students, couples, families, as well as the church so that we can reverse the destructive trends of unhealthy relationships and build a stronger community. The curricula we use are biblically-based and adaptable to nonsectarian settings.  

Our Great Team

Our Executive Director, Amy Gilford - Since 2004 Amy has worked along side her parents to help elevate the importance of healthy marriages and families in our community.  In 2015, the MREC Board of Directors appointed Amy to the role of Executive Director where she has focused on expanding programs, events and partnerships and is certified in numerous relationship education curricula. She is a member of the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce's Leadership Carroll Class of  2018. A dedicated coffee drinker, Amy is training to be a Master Gardener. She is involved in her local church and loves history and reading suspense novels. 

Our Co-Founders and Liaisons to the Churches- Retired Carroll County Public School educators, "Coach" Bill and Anne McKenna. Bill and Anne have been married 57 years and are focusing inspiring and equipping the churches to build marriage ministries.  They have four children and 12 grandchildren and enjoy spending time with all of them.  The McKennas are certified in multiple marriage education programs and love working with couples and assisting churches in building marriage mentoring ministries.  They are very active in their local church and love working out at the Y. Bill has affectionately been dubbed our CNO - Chief Networking Officer since he is a popular face at many events in our community.

Gail Cook - Bookeeper                                                                                                                  Lois Szymanski - Communications Assistant, Kathy Fuller - Office Administrator                              Sue Emerick - Programming                                                                                                        Volunteers:      Peggy Hayes and Judy Schlehr - Office                                                                                                David Roche - IT Specialist                                                                                       Educators: Janice Holsonbake, Keith Rogers

Numerous other dedicated individuals assist us on our committees and for special events                      throughout the year including college and high school interns.  


             Bill Barton - Chairman 

            Stephen Speights - Vice-chair    

           Ed Williar - Secretary                                                                                      

            Coleen Kramer Beal - Treasurer  

             Belinda Roettger

             Thomas Roettger

              Demian Seeley







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